2019 was a strong year for Preservation Long Island (PLI). Ongoing programs, such as the Endangered Historic Places List, continue to empower an ever-widening range of preservation partners, while plans for new projects have started to take form. Creating synergies between our three program areas (advocacy, education, and stewardship) is a central goal. For example, last year’s exhibition about our founder, Howard Sherwood, and the Colonial Revival movement set in motion the Howard Sherwood Archive cataloging and digitization project. When the project is completed, Sherwood’s robust collection of regional material culture will be searchable for the first time and publicly accessible at our website.
Similarly, the Jupiter Hammon Project, scheduled to launch in 2020, is a research initiative that will convene expert scholars with educators, descendant communities, and the public for an open discussion about the life of America’s first African American poet who was enslaved at Joseph Lloyd Manor. Outcomes from this project will guide PLI’s portrayal of Jupiter Hammon at the site and serve as a model for other organizations. Combined with additional research, the Hammon Project will also inform how PLI expands the site’s interpretation to encompass multiple perspectives from the Colonial Period through the 1980s when the building was restored as a house museum – a fascinating 300-year arc of history.
One of PLI’s most ambitious goals for the future is to bring Joseph Lloyd Manor, and all of its buildings, into the 21st century through mechanical, structural, and technological upgrades that improve how we preserve and present our extraordinary collections. Focusing on Joseph Lloyd Manor, PLI recently finished a building condition assessment with funding assistance from the Preserve New York program. PLI now has a clear road map for the project guided by the priorities outlined in the report.
As a 70+-year-old organization, PLI is no stranger to ambitious projects. Over the years, we’ve restored buildings, conserved works of art and design, published books, and mounted exhibitions. These accomplishments and this dynamic forward movement are the result of a dedicated and coordinated team effort by our staff, board, community partners and the continued generosity of our supporters.